other reason I may advance as an excuse for incessant repeats of this CD
of early music since it came into my hands, the playing of the Finnish early
music group Battalia is magnetic. Thus, my musical feelings are overcome.
There are similar groups with professional expertise: I cannot recall quite
the same fervour, whether in the unfolding of slow music, or the rumbustiousness
of jolly music.
The programme is - one might almost say - 'classic': Bull, Wilson, Lawes,
Simpson, Baltzar, and Purcell. The record's title is the piece by Bull that
kickstarts the programme. (Click to listen.) The
great G minor Chacony by Purcell rounds it off. Highspots for me are the
Fantazia from Lawes' Suite in G minor, the sprung rhythms of the Sarabande
from Locke's Suite in C, and a Fantazia by Lawes. Battalia do naturally
in their musicmaking what stems from an intensity as they become as one
with the music.
Copyright © Basil Ramsey,
September 8th 1999
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